Niamh gets England call

Forest Town prospect Niamh Cashin (13) is heading off to Spain next week after being called up for the England U15 Schoolgirls football squad.

She is two years younger than some of her new squad mates and the only player not attached to a professional club.

Centre half Niamh is the only girl in the Blidworth U14 side that competes in the Young Elizabethan League and has proved she can more than hold her own with the boys.

Now she will head off for a five-day training camp in Barcelona and try to win herself a starting place in games against Ireland at Maidstone United FC in mid-March and then up in Glasgow against Scotland in April.

Her coach at Blidworth is Simon Ward and he said: “Niamh is the only girl in the side but is one of the best defenders in the league.

“She is in a very, very good team and that has helped her to turn into the player that she is.

“She amazes me. In the league there are some big, strong physical strikers, but she just breezes through it and makes it look easy.

“She is strong in the tackle and has two good feet – she is almost a female Rio Ferdinand. She drives forward with the ball and is always looking to play it rather than kick it long.

“She was spotted by Andy Norwood, who is head of PE at Garibaldi and part of the England set-up, training at Garibaldi on a Tuesday night and he put her name forward.

“She is the only one in there who is still playing grassroots football as the rest are at professional clubs and she is two years younger than some, so she has done exceptionally well.”

Niahm, who is a student at All Saints, started out playing with her father’s Drezden Colts side when she was six and moved on to play for Blidworth four years ago as an U10.